Inexpensive sugarcane juice in developing countries is now free of impurities.
Inspiration from Nature
Blue whale (Balaenoptera Musculus) opens its mouth to gulp a large volume of water, full of small fish and krill. After closing its mouth, the whale presses its tongue against the filter in its jaw- called baleen. Water strains back into the ocean leaving the fish and krill behind.
In countries like India and Pakistan, sugarcane juice called Roh is cheap high-octane fuel for the working class. One glass of icy cold Roh in crushing heat of the summer and weariness retreats like a dementor from Patronus spell. But the juice-stalls are located along the roadside where they are constantly exposed to dust. General consumers are motorcyclists who do not get off their bikes to drink the juice. Sale frequency remains high as the grinders churn on constantly and the price of each glass is low. It is not financially feasible to use disposable glass and a dust-proof environment around the stall isn’t an option either. So, the price in which consumers pay for a glass of juice is infinitesimally smaller than the price which they end up paying in the long run. We need a solution to remove solid particles and dust from a glass of Roh without slowing down business.
Blue whales (Balaenoptera Musculus) have developed a filtering system inside their mouth called baleen. The whale gulps a large number of fish, krill, water, and everything that gets swooped in, and closes its mouth. There are keratin plates in the jaw. The whale forces out water through these plates leaving the fish and krill behind. An important part of this method is the pressure of the tongue which forces the water out. It suggests that juice can be poured in a glass that has a cap for the removal of impurities. Filtration can be achieved by the weight of the juice from inside when the glass is tilted. This way, the process of filtration won’t slow down the manufacturing and sale of the product.
Baleen’s method of chemical-free filtration has already been mimicked at the industrial scale. Multiple filtration products such as Ekobrew refillable cup, Swiss Silver cup filter, Electrolux Ergorapido Dust Cup Filter, Diguo coffee filter cup are important case-studies. There is a wonderful initiative by the name ‘The LifeStraw: Portable Water Filter’ which provides clean water to African children. The nature gadget should be a two-sided filter that can remove and accumulate solid particles and dust from a liquid.
A two-way filter keeps collecting solid particles along its round edges and needs cleansing only after several uses. The baleen-like screen (8) is a two-way filter that works during the pouring (7) and drinking from glass (9). When the glass is tilted or turned upside down, a disk inside the filter (11, 12) collects solid particles and rams them along its edges. The process is repeated (17). The existing method to wash a glass between two uses is to give it a quick scoop in a tub of (dirty) water. Glasses fitted with nature gadget filters should remove impurities (10) from that water as well.
The following are some useful resources from the design process of this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: Closeup of a Blue Whale
Row1Column2: Closeup of Baleen Plates
Row1Column3: Cross-section of Blue Whale
Row1Column4: Diagram of Ventral Grooves
Row2Column1: Benefits of Sugarcane Juice
Row2Column2: Sugarcane Juice Closeup
Row2Column3: Sugarcane Juice in India and Pakistan
Row2Column4: Ekobrew Refillable Cup
Row3Column1: Swiss Silver Cup Filter
Row3Column2: Electrolux Ergorapido Dust Cup Filter
Row3Column3: Ekobrew Filter for Coffee Makers
Row3Column4: GE MWF SmartWater Refrigerator Replacement Water Filter Cartridge
Row4Column1: Distiller Carbon Post Filter Cups
Row4Column2: Brewista Smart Brew- Flat Bottom Steeping Filter
Row4Column3: Diguo Coffee Filter Cup
Row4Column4: The Lifestraw: Portable Water Filter
Created by Umair Zia